Based on the best selling novel by Philippa Gregory, "The Other Boleyn Girl" is an engrossing and sensual tale of intrigue, romance, and betrayal set against the backdrop of a defining moment in history. Two sisters, Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) Boleyn, are driven by their ambitious father and uncle to advance the family's power and status by courting the affections of the King of England (Eric Bana). Leaving behind the simplicity of
country life, the girls are thrust into the dangerous and thrilling world of court life – and what began as a bid to help their family develops into a ruthless rivalry between Anne and Mary for the love of the king. Initially, Mary wins King Henry's favor and becomes his mistress, bearing him an illegitimate child. But Anne, clever, conniving, and fearless, edges aside both her sister and Henry's wife, Queen Katherine of Aragon, in her relentless pursuit of the king. Despite Mary's genuine feelings for Henry, her sister Anne has her sights set on the ultimate prize; Anne will not stop until she is Queen of England. As the Boleyn girls battle for the love of a king – one driven by ambition, the other by true affection – England is torn apart. Despite the dramatic consequences, the Boleyn girls ultimately find strength and loyalty in each other, and they remain forever connected by their bond as sisters.
I have read the book, so you know that meant I was looking forward to the movie. More because the book was one of the best books I read the year I read it, so I wanted to see how that would transfer to the big screen. The other night, I finally got my chance. I sat through the annoying commercials (a car commercial set to Mambo Number Five...), I watched the previews for up-coming releases (first movie I have seen in a while without the annoying robot movie preview), and then finally the movie began. The setting was wonderful, the costumes were impressive, and I was beginning to think that I was in for a good show.
First up, I should mention I was not thrilled by the casting choices. I do not mind Natalie Portman, but I am not a big Scarlett fan. There is something about her that I just cannot warm up to. I think that for the role that was written for her, Natalie did an awesome job. Scarlett did meek pretty good, but like I said, I just cannot warm to her. I am not sure Eric Bana was exactly who I would picture for Henry, but he did do a good job. There was, for me, nothing majorly wrong with the cast. Even the secondary characters did a very good job. I just did not like the movie. Actually, I sat there for the entire time praying it would hurry up and get over. The other two people I went with enjoyed it, and I imagine one of them will buy it when it comes out on DVD, but once was more than enough for me!
I know that the Boleyn's and their connection with the king was all rather dramatic, but there was just too much drama for me. I found that they were trying to overplay everything just a bit too much for me. I didn't feel bad for Anne in the end, I was just happy that if she was now dead, the movie must be almost over. In the book, Anne is the younger sister, but in the movie they changed it to have her as the older one. The fact that she was the older sister was a line of dialogue several times throughout the movie. All I kept thinking is that we get it already, no need to mention it again! I just found that the movie had too much whining, tears, and back-stabbing. Historically correct? Probably. Just too much drama for me. It was really rushed, the whole story. Two babies were born, so you know at least 18 months went by, but it felt like a week. I just did not like how the movie was written. It annoyed me to no end.
So, while I know that people like this movie, I do not. I can go on and on about it, but for now, I will just say that this is not a movie for everyone.